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Honoring Structure: An Interview with An Enemy of the People‘s Richard Thomas

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Honoring Structure: An Interview with An Enemy of the People’s Richard Thomas
Honoring Structure: An Interview with An Enemy of the People’s Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas is back on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s revival of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. The New York-born actor, who for many will always be associated with The Waltons, started his career as a child actor, making his first Broadway appearance at age seven in 1958. Since then, with detours for movies and especially television, he’s worked steadily in the theater, playing a slew of classical roles in regional theater, and working on contemporary fare by writers such as Lanford Wilson, Terrence McNally, Edward Albee, and David Mamet.

In Ibsen’s 1882 classic, a community’s highly anticipated source of revenue, a new public baths for their town, is in jeopardy when the town’s medical officer, Thomas Stockman, discovers the water may be contaminated. Stockman’s determination to stop the project sets him in collision with his fellow townspeople as well as his brother, Peter (Thomas), the mayor of the town. I spoke with the 61-year-old actor shortly before performances started at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway.